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Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

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Michelina Lombardi

2022 Grand Scholastic Woman of the Year
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Written by Michael Kelly, The Daily Gazette

During her years at Averill Park High School, Michelina Lombardi reached impressive heights and helped lift those around her, too. A standout student, a top athlete and a frequent volunteer, Lombardi packed an incredible amount of achievement and memories into her high school career.

“She is punctual, diligent and genuine. She is willing to put her own interests aside to help her fellow peers and teammates,” said Sean Organ, whose varsity basketball team won a state championship in 2022 with Lombardi helping to lead the way. “Michelina is the kind of student-athlete teachers and coaches hope to work with on a daily basis. She demonstrates a tremendous work ethic in her quest to succeed academically and athletically.”

“At all times, I have found Michelina to be self-motivated, reliable, hard-working, dedicated and courteous,” said Nathan Luskin, who coached Lombardi in soccer and track and field. “She consistently acts as a role model for younger teammates and classmates, and has been a tremendous asset to our school community.”

One of 10 high school honorees for the third-annual Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards, Lombardi ranked eighth in her graduating class, accumulated a 4.0 GPA, received numerous academic honors and was a member of the New Visions Scientific Research and World Health Program her senior year. Actively involved in several clubs, Lombardi was also a class president throughout her years at Averill Park.

Lombardi credited her teachers with making it possible for her to have such a rich academic experience.

“They are all there for one goal, and that’s to help the students,” Lombardi said. “They look at us as a whole, but they really strive to help each of us individually.”

In her community, Lombardi developed a significant presence, particularly through her work volunteering with Young’s Pharmacy to help conduct COVID-19 vaccine clinics and with St. Jude the Apostle Church.

The Wynantskill resident volunteered to check-in people at area vaccine clinics, helping to keep the clinics organized and on schedule.

“I was very humbled to be asked to volunteer and help serve the community,” Lombardi said. “That was so important to me.”

So, too, was her volunteering with St. Jude the Apostle. Through her church, Lombardi said she “realized how important volunteering is,” and applied that lesson. She spent countless hours helping seniors, coaching youth basketball players, and preparing food baskets for those in need, among a variety of other volunteer activities, as part of her work through the church.

“St. Jude’s is a community that I’m very fond of,” said Lombardi, who attended the church’s school through sixth grade. “They’ve done a lot for me over the years, and it’s been really great to give back to that community, and those students since I was one of them.”

Athletically, Lombardi was an all-star level performer in soccer and track and field, as well as one of the top standouts on this year’s basketball team that won a state championship. A four-year varsity starter on the basketball court, Lombardi’s team had its postseasons shortened in 2020 and 2021 due to restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the goal to make the most of 2022’s full postseason helped drive her to be her best.

“All I wanted to do was win a state championship,” said Lombardi, who scored 11 points in Averill Park’s 54-48 Class A championship win against Tappan Zee.

For Lombardi, attending medical school and becoming a doctor are future goals. Later this year, Lombardi will attend Le Moyne College. She will play basketball while she majors in biology and minors in Spanish at the college.

“I’m just really thankful to Averill Park for everything they’ve given me and how they’ve prepared me for Le Moyne,” Lombardi said. “These last four years have been nothing short of amazing.”

Her high school will certainly miss her presence.

“Michelina is one of, if not the best, leaders that I’ve come across during my 13 years in athletic administration,” Averill Park athletic director Mark Bubniak said. “She is a great student, talented athlete, and serves her school and community in a variety of ways.”

“Her community looks up to her,” Organ said.

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